By: Sean Crose
It’s true that novelty boxing may indeed be more popular than serious boxing these days. Just don’t tell Canelo Alvarez that. The sport’s premiere attraction (at least as far as fighters in their primes go) didn’t take kindly to Jake Paul fans trying to steal his spotlight after a thunderous win over mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim in Miami on Saturday night. Although microphones don’t appear to have caught what he said, the read haired star snapped at two black clad Paul fans who had somehow gotten in the ring to draw attention towards their hero during the post-fight interview.
Needless to say the two Paul supporters scurried out of the ring. Canelo, after all, is a man who takes the sport of boxing seriously. It may be the one thing the guy has in common with arch rival Gennady Golovkin. Both men know that a prize fight can end in hospitalization, permanent injury, or even death. That’s something novelty fight fans – those who are all about entertaining spectacles such as Mayweather-McGregor, Tyson-Jones or Jake Paul versus whoever don’t seem to understand. Having said that, it’s unclear whether Paul himself had anything to do with the antics of his devoted followers Saturday evening.
Say what one will about the internet star, the man approaches the sport of boxing with genuine intensity. He trains hard, works to improve his skillset and, quite frankly, is not without talent. In short, although he may be a social media sensation, Paul himself treats boxing like what it is – a professional athletic endeavor, not a lark. Yet he’s nowhere near the caliber of someone like Canelo and his background leads to a less than respectful approach from some individuals he’s drawn towards the fight game. That’s a problem – or at least it is until someone like Canelo puts the less than respectful types in their place.
Be that as it may, Paul, who now has a professional boxing record of 2-0, is training with the likes of Evander Holyfield to prepare for his April 17th match with former UFC attraction Ben Askren. It will no doubt be Paul’s most legitimate challenge to date As for Canelo – he’s already got a major throwdown with Billy Joe Saunders lined up for May. Hopefully there will be no in-ring distractions. Top athletes aren’t overly patient with that sort of thing. Nor, for that matter, are many of boxing’s fans.